Homemade Poptarts Recipe – from scratch and with a twist

I was never the kid that liked Pop Tarts. They always seemed dry and never had enough filling. The icing was hard too. Obviously people like them or they wouldn’t sell them, but I never understood why.

Yesterday’s post talked about the danishes that I made for the United Way fundraiser. Along with those danishes, I made these cute little mini poptarts on a sticks. I had my reservations about making poptarts, but they looked too cute to pass up.

Can you guess what the picture below is?

If you have ever worked with fresh, bing cherries, you know that they have a pit in the middle. I realize that without these annoyances, we wouldn’t ever have more cherries. But I still dislike the fact that they cause me to spend time removing them. My mom has this wonderful cherry pitter that I need to steal borrow. It pops the pit right out of the cherry in a second. As soon as I saw the recipe for these pop tarts, I knew that I was going to need a cherry pitter because I only had fresh cherries to use. I wasn’t about to drive 40 minutes to my mom’s house to get HER cherry pitter, so I resigned myself to the fact that instead of spending exactly 1 second on each cherry, it would take me 20 seconds. Aw, I know you feel sorry for me. While I was pitting the cherries, I explained the situation to the hubby and told him that he could help me by trying to find a way to make a homemade cherry pitter. He scurried away to the computer and I could hear him watching a video on YouTube. You gotta love YouTube…you can find answers to just about anything on YouTube. I’m pretty sure I could perform open heart surgery by looking at a YouTube video. Anyway, the hubby came back and explained that he could make one fairly quickly, but I would probably be done pitting them myself before he was done creating the device. I told him to go ahead and make it. He dug through the silverware drawer looking for a “crappy” fork. He came up with a fork that I had apparently stolen from my parent’s house when I still lived there. Sorry mom, if you’re missing a fork, see the picture above. I’m pretty sure you won’t want it back now.

So, the picture is not of some crazy attempt to make a fork look like a praying mantis, it’s a cherry pitter. It works really, really well, and didn’t cost a dime. I didn’t actually use it myself because the hubby was excited to try out his own handywork, but it sure looked easy to use!

The original recipe can be found here. The original poster of this recipe made it sound like this was going to be a quick and easy recipe. Maybe it’s my fault for assuming that based on her description, but, it’s not quick and easy. After spending about an hour in the kitchen, I began to wonder if it was all worth the effort. The skewers weren’t sticking in the dough, the dough wasn’t sticking together, the poptarts were sticking to the cookie sheet before they were even baked. UGH! I was SO over this recipe. I finally got them in the oven and prepared myself for the inevitable failure that this recipe was going to be. All of a sudden I started to smell something. It was the skewers! They were burning in the oven. Oh man…could this project possibly get any worse?! Well, the burning stopped and they only turned slightly black. Note to self: soak skewers in water before using them.

I was so skeptical at how these were going to turn out, that I made the rest of the receipe into big, regular sized pop tarts. Which, by the way, were much, much easier.

After about 10 minutes I removed them from the oven, and, once again, disappointment set in. The sticks were coming out of the pop tarts and they were sticking to the cookie sheet, AGAIN. I let them cool and poured the icing over the tops and then added the sprinkles. I decided that I would use a bit of the icing to secure the sticks, and also found that if I pushed the sticks further into the tarts, they held better. Once the icing was set, I moved them into a flower vase. I just knew that I would wake up the next morning and they would be all over the counter because they had fallen off the sticks. To my suprise, they were actually completely intact the next morning. In fact, they were perfect! The pop tart filling had become more sticky and had caused the skewers to stick inside the tarts. I was so nervous to have to transport them, but I can tell you that these things made it all the way to work (1 hour drive), and still looked amazing. They were the cutest dessert on the table and everyone raved about them. I received more compliments on these than a lot of other things that I have made. They were adorable and they tasted amazing.

So, the lesson here is, be patient! Just when I thought this project was as much of a lost cause as trying to bring by polyester pants, it totally redeemed itself. They were a huge success. If you have a little bit of time, make the larger pop tarts for your kids. My youngest loved these, and they all disappeared in 1 day! If you have an hour to devote to baking, make the mini version on sticks. You won’t regret it!

My 11-year-old son to this pic. I had to included it!

Pop tart(lets) on a Stick
Adapted from: Babble

1 c. fresh cherries, pitted and diced
3 T. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. water
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 pkg. prepared pie crusts (you can use 3 crusts if you want to make bigger pop tarts)
Popsicle sticks or skewers (soaked in water)

1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 T. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine chopped cherries, sugar, cornstarch and almond extract. Heat on stove over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat. Unroll pie crusts and use a pizza cutter to slice them into 1 1/2″x 2″ rectangles (I used a ruler to measure the dough into equal rectangles and scored the pie crust with a butter knife before cutting). If you are making regular sized pop tarts, they should be measured at 2″ x 3″.

Assemble the pop tarts on the baking sheet that you plan to use to bake them. Lay out the dough and place a wooden skewer or popscicle stick on top of one of the cut rectangles, then spoon a small amount (about 1 tsp.) of cherry filling into the center of the square. Do not let the cherries sit near the edges of the dough; they will squeeze out the side when you put the top piece on if you do. Place another piece of dough over the top of the cherry filling. Press the edges of the dough together with a clean fork. Once they have been assembled, bake poptart pops for 10-12 minutes, or just until the edges begin to brown.

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla to make glaze. Once pop tarts have cooled completely, spoon glaze over the tops and sprinkle with sprinkles. Allow the glaze to harden completely before serving…several hours to overnight.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Pumpkin Scone Recipe – Just like Starbucks and super easy to make « The Accidental Cook

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